Welcome to Artful Ways

Celebrating and Mapping connections between people, place & creativity in Cumbria

The Artful Ways project has involved a host of walks and events throughout the summer, with people taking part across the county. It has brought people together, and encouraged creativity.

Some people have taken solitary walks, others have paired up, still others have joined events hosted by the project gatekeepers. As well as walking, there has been singing, dancing, swimming, rowing, running and poetry strolls, and there have been reflections from people who haven’t been able to get outside. All of these have contributed to the tracks on the Artful Ways Map – take a look to see where people have walked, or which locations and venues have been highlighted.

Everyone who has taken part has been invited to ponder three questions on creativity, connection and place, and to use the opportunity to make a piece of creative work. Some of these feature in the blog, and the website gallery (coming soon) will show the whole collection. We’ve been blown away by the variety and quality of work that has been shared.


Making Artful Ways, June – August 2021

What defines an Artful Way?

An ‘artful way’ is a route that connects or includes a creative or cultural element. This is open to interpretation – some people have visited a museum or a historic house, or a bookshop or gallery; some have taken themselves across fells and to lakeland summits; others have met in a park or on a hillside to dance, share poetry, sketch …

There’s more on The Shape of a Walk here .


The Artful Ways Map

The Artful Ways Map shows the routes that people have taken – visit the map and click on the icons to read about the walks, and participants’ reflections on the three Artful Ways questions. You can zoom in and in, and in … have fun!


Let your inner creative have some fun!

Artful Ways invites creative expression in all its forms, and from everyone, to reflect the enthusiasm and talent that exists across the county. The invitation to everyone who takes part to share a creative response to their walk has resulted in an eclectic and inspiring collection. The artwork created will be shared on this website and a selection will be included in the exhibition that will launch at Tullie House in Autumn 2021, and will then tour to three other Cumbrian venues in 2022.

To offer a common framework there are 3 questions that everyone has been invited to ponder. Find out more about The Shape of a Walk and the questions here.

Artful Commissions

Artful Ways also offers a showcase for some exceptional Cumbrians whose work will be the highlight of the touring exhibition.

There have been four ‘My Artful Way‘ commissions: these were awarded to film-maker Rachel Capovila, textile-artist Rosie Galloway-Smith, basket- and swill-maker Lorna Singleton, and visual artist Anne Waggot Knott. You can read about the four selected artists here, and check out other blogs to find out what they’ve been up to.

There has also been one ‘Artful Cumbria‘ commission for an artist to respond to the whole project, drawing on other people’s responses to build a creative piece. The ‘Artful Cumbria’ commission was awarded to Alex Jakob-Whitworth.

A bit of background …

After more than a year of disruption due to Covid-19, Artful Ways is about connecting & sharing through creativity, walks, an evolving website and a touring exhibition. It responds to a much-felt need to meet, safely, outside, and to enjoy creating and experiencing art; and it aims to strengthen connections between creative people and highlight what Cumbria has to offer from a rich and diverse culture inspired by its landscape and people.

Harriet and Rob Fraser, who are leading the project, were inspired by being part of the Cumbria Arts and Culture Network. This has been a space for friendships, support and connection in the 2D world of Zoom during the Covid lockdowns; and it has shown a massive desire to get out and meet in person, to visit places that are known or only just discovered, and to walk together with a creative purpose.

Through the regenerative power of taking a walk, while re-connecting with old friends and making new connections, and with the added buzz of creativity, Arftul Ways offers plenty of opportunities to boost wellbeing. There will be opportunities for communities to take part and to connect with events in their area, for creative practitioners and artists to meet, and for arts organisations to connect through slowly journeying together.

The landscape of Cumbria is an important factor – many walks will take place among Cumbria’s stunning landscapes, and the project will also invite conversations and reflections about the natural living world and how we creatively, collectively, care for it.  

Artists and people working in the creative sector have a justified reputation for being good at adapting, finding new ways round problems, imagining the new; using artful ways to move forward. This project aims to encourage this, in the spirit of friendship, mutual support and connection, and in the context of Cumbria’s unique landscape.

The Artful Ways Team

The Artful Ways project has been dreamt up by somewhere-nowhere, and is being run with a group of inspirational, imaginative, dedicated and creative people from across Cumbria, including organisations and independent practitioners.